Dashes of fire

Published: Friday 15 April 1994

-- The days of the scarecrow are over. A team led by R K Bhatnagar at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute in Delhi have found that reflective ribbons, dubbed "dashes of fire" by ornithologists, tied a metre above standing crops, frighten birds away. The ribbons, spaced a metre-and-half apart and about a metre overground, sway in the breeze and reflect sunlight, keeping birds at bay.

Birds can render useless upto 80 per cent of a farmer's produce. Bhatnagar claims that "house crows alone are estimated to damage more than 65 per cent of the sunflower crop in Punjab." Now farmers can make light of the avian pests.

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